Anyone unfamiliar with Jameel Warney’s all-around game got quite a show from the Stony Brook senior against Vermont on Saturday.
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The 6-8 Warney blocked four shots in the first half and scored 15 of his 23 points in the second with an array of low-post moves as the Seawolves extended their winning streak to 13 games — the longest active streak in the nation — with a 72-61 victory at Patrick Gymnasium in Burlington, Vermont.
Warney began the second half with a pair of jump hooks — the first with his left hand, the second with his right — and later added a circus shot for a three-point play. With 6-9 Ethan O’Day trying to deny the pass into the post, Warney took a lob from Carson Puriefoy, went up with his right hand, switched the ball to his left and flipped it in without using the backboard. He added a nifty up-and-under move against O’Day for a layup and grabbed Lucas Woodhouse’s lob for an alley-oop dunk.
Warney capped the Seawolves’ game-ending 11-3 run by hitting two free throws with 13 seconds left as Stony Brook (17-4) completed its first pass through the America East schedule with an 8-0 record.
Nate Rohrer hit a three-pointer with 3:37 left to bring the Catamounts within 61-58, but Stony Brook held Vermont to 1-for-7 shooting after that. Puriefoy sank a three-pointer from the right corner and Warney hit his up-and-under layup to give the Seawolves a 66-58 lead with 2:24 left.
The Catamounts tried a Hack-a-Ray strategy, fouling 36-percent free-throw shooter Rayshaun McGrew three times, but he went 2-for-5 from the line to make it 68-61 with 48 seconds left. Ahmad Walker and Warney then went 4-for-4 from the line to seal the victory.
“I knew they were going to make a run, but we gutted this one out,’’ Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. “Ahmad made some timely steals and Jameel made some big baskets and free throws down the stretch. Ahmad let the game come to him in the second half. He was a bit anxious to start but really settled into the game in the second half.’’
Warney had 10 rebounds in his 53rd career double-double and Walker added 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Puriefoy had 12 points and Woodhouse and McGrew (eight rebounds, four assists) added nine points each. Woodhouse, who made a trio of three-pointers, is shooting 16-for-30 from three-point range in conference play.
“A lot of Stony Brook teams have struggled at Vermont, so it was great to play well and come away with a victory,’’ said Warney, who helped hold Vermont to zero offensive rebounds in the second half.
Trae Bell-Haynes had 13 points, O’Day 11, Cam Ward 10 and Ernie Duncan nine for Vermont (13-10, 5-3). O’Day had 10 rebounds and Duncan added five assists.
“We had some defensive breakdowns in the second half, much like the playoff game last year,’’ Vermont coach John Becker said. “We were a minus-8 on the glass in the second half, which I thought was a huge key. Tip our hat to Stony Brook. They’re a very good team.’’
The Seawolves fell behind 22-15, but Walker’s steal and breakaway dunk gave Stony Brook a 39-33 lead as the Seawolves held Vermont without a field goal for 8:20. Walker later followed his own steal with a breakaway layup for a 59-50 lead.
— GREG GUTES
Stony Brook women win. Brittany Snow had 24 points and eight rebounds and Aaliyah Worley scored 16 points as the Stony Brook women’s basketball team (14-7, 6-2 America East) beat visiting Vermont, 73-59. Ogechi Anyagaligbo added 11 rebounds.